For women just beginning their recovery journey, the idea of weeks or months spent in treatment can be overwhelming. The reality is that treatment goes by fast. There is so much to learn, and during your time in treatment you will realize that the time was well spent. You will leave treatment with renewed hope, confidence, self-esteem and tools that you can apply to all areas of life.
What Happens After Treatment?
Life after treatment is different for everyone, of course. What surprises many women preparing to leave treatment is how nervous they feel about it! Drug and alcohol treatment is a protected environment, with plenty of support, encouragement and a whole community built in to cheer you on and offer you a shoulder when you need it.
As you end your time in treatment, you may feel a variety of emotions: pride in your accomplishment, excitement at beginning your new life, fear of what will happen, especially if you are not sure where you are going after treatment, and anxiety about how you will deal with the “real world” and all its challenges.
These are all normal feelings, and you probably have some very valid concerns. Because treatment is a controlled environment there are things you don’t have to deal with there. You don’t have to deal with many of the daily life stuff that awaits you when you complete treatment. You are removed from people, places and things that remind you of using. You are safe, and you have access to support 24/7.
Challenges In Early Recovery
Once you leave treatment, you must draw on what you have learned to keep yourself balanced, safe and sober. But what happens when you are confronted with the urge to use, or are offered drugs by a friend or family member? How do you deal with turbulent relationships or financial troubles? It would be helpful if you had a resource to support you during these early months of real-life recovery when you have to practice all that you have learned while actually living your life.
Fortunately, that support is available in the form of an intensive outpatient program (IOP)
What Is An Intensive Outpatient Program, And Why Do I Need It?
Like inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment involves an intake process, and you will be paired with a counselor or case manager who will work with you to develop a treatment plan and who will meet with you regularly to check progress and make changes to your plan if necessary. While IOP’s may vary, they usually provide some standard services, similar to inpatient treatment, such as individual counseling, group therapy, education sessions and other related activities. The primary difference, of course, is that you will not reside at your outpatient center, you will leave at the end of each session, free to go about your life.
Time spent in outpatient treatment will vary, depending on the program itself, as well as your needs and where you are at in your individual program. You may initially attend treatment several days a week for anywhere from 2 to 8 hours per day. This may gradually taper down until you are only attending one or two sessions per week. The duration of the program may be anywhere from six weeks to a year, with six months being typical.
How Does IOP Help You?
Once you are out of treatment, your built-in support group may fade away. You won’t have that instant access to counselors, other staff members or peers that you had in treatment. Outpatient aftercare offers this, and at a time when you may need it most.
One of the biggest issues facing the recovering addict just out of treatment is the possibility of relapse. Relapse rates can be high for those just coming out of treatment. There are varying reasons for this. Some people go through treatment begrudgingly, knowing full well that they plan on returning to using as soon as they get out.
More often, though, women relapse after treatment due to lack of support or a resurfacing of unaddressed issues such as depression, anxiety, trauma. When a woman is addicted and also has other mental health issues, this is known as having a dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorder.
An intensive outpatient program helps to bridge the gap between inpatient treatment and the outside world. For many women, just knowing that they will be able to go to their groups or speak to their counselor each day gives them the confidence and support they need to stay clean and sober one more day.
Outpatient programs often offer additional services that can be so helpful to the newly recovering addict. For example, family counseling to help heal the wounds that are often still very fresh for family members. Job counseling and housing assistance are also helpful for the recovering addict who is struggling to get on her feet.
Relapse prevention, anger management, and parenting classes are offered by some programs and can help women build the life skills necessary not only to stay sober but also to thrive and succeed in their lives.
Aftercare is an important part of the addiction recovery process and women who complete outpatient aftercare programs are more likely to stay sober after treatment.
Outpatient Aftercare At Wayside House
Wayside House is an affordable addiction treatment program that serves women. Our facility is set in serene, comfortable and safe surroundings and our program offers the best in addiction treatment. We offer a variety of holistic recovery programs including art therapy, yoga, equine therapy and EMDR.
In addition to our inpatient program, Wayside House offers intensive outpatient treatment and aftercare planning, as well as an alumni program. This means that the women in our program are supported every step of the way and are never alone during their journey of recovery. Call Wayside House today at 561-278-0055 to find out more about our program and to schedule a consultation.